Demarest Suite for String Orchestra
I. Echoes of Our Youth
II. Remember the Ladies
III. Joyous Day
Echoes of Our Youth begins the suite with lush sonorities and bold statements. Its range of emotions such as insecurity, joy, and nostalgia, are all feelings associated with childhood. Echoes is loosely based on the duet that Marie and Emil sing to each other in the opening of Harbach’s opera O Pioneers! The movement is in three sections with a coda. Murmuring strings, key changes, string tremolos and written out glissandos enhance the ebullience of musical young love.
Remember the Ladies is inspired by a phrase from a letter from Abigail Adams to her husband John Adams, March 31, 1776. The letter spoke to the fact that John was involved in the freeing of the country and yet, women could not vote or be educated. The seductive tango comes to a quiet close as Mrs. Adams’ plea fell on deaf ears.
Joyous Day is the development of a theme from Harbach’s opera, O Pioneers! In the opera, this theme was used at a joyous wedding and the joy in the theme translates well to strings as the suite comes to a close. Written for Double String Orchestra or Concertino and Ripieno, there are two themes continually changing and alternating with varying textures to end the joyous wedding day.